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Volume 9, Issue 3 April 2017

In This Issue:


2017 SCICU Excellence In Teaching Award Recipients

SCICU Honors Professors at 2017 Excellence In Teaching Awards Dinner

COLUMBIA, SC --  SCICU presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to twenty professors from its member colleges and universities at the 12th annual Excellence In Teaching Awards Dinner on April 4, 2017. Over 150 persons, including members of the South Carolina General Assembly, college faculty members, SCICU Trustees, and family members of the award recipients joined in this celebration of higher education and teaching excellence at SCICU's member independent colleges and universities in South Carolina.

In addition to recognition at the awards dinner, the 2016 recipients each received a $3,000 professional development grant from SCICU.
Collectively, the 2017 Excellence In Teaching award recipients have substantial professional depth and knowledge, and their areas of teaching include the sciences , religion, political science, criminal justice, languages, and the arts.

SCICU is pleased to recognize the following individuals with Excellence in Teaching Awards for 2017 ( Each link below accesses bio information for each award recipient.):

A photo gallery of all award recipients may be viewed here.

The support from generous sponsors helps make the annual Excellence in Teaching Awards program possible.  SCICU gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors for their support of the Excellence In Teaching Awards Dinner in 2017:
ABM Solutions
Aramark Higher Education
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA
National Management Resources
SC Student Loan Corporation
TD Bank
Total Comfort Solutions
Vulcan Materials Company


Senate Budget Panel Funds Critical Higher Education Programs

COLUMBIA, SC -  The Senate Finance Committee has recommended increased funding for several critical programs that impact students attending independent colleges and universities.

First and foremost, the budget panel recommended that both the need-based Tuition Grants program and the CHE need-based grants program receive an additional $1.3 million each. Depending on the number of grants awarded and if the House concurs with the Senate's recommendations, the maximum Tuition Grant could increase from $3,200 this year to $3,300 or even $3,400 beginning in August.

Second, the committee recommended that the merit scholarship programs (Palmetto Fellows, LIFE, HOPE, and Tuition Assistance) receive full funding. Because the Department of Education changed the high school grading scale from a 7 point to a 10 point scale beginning with the 2016 school year, the Finance Committee was challenged to find an additional $29 million to fund normal growth plus an estimated 2,400 additional students who could qualify for merit scholarships in 2017.

Under the Senate proposed budget, the amount of student financial aid for FY 2017-18 approaches more than $410 million.

PASCAL, the academic library consortium for public and private colleges and universities, was added back to the budget in an amount of $1.5 million. Public 4-year and 2-year colleges and universities will receive approximately $16 million in new funding under the Senate plan.

The Finance Committee's higher education recommendations differ dramatically from the budget passed by the House. Other than funding merit scholarships, the House did not increase funding for public colleges and universities or for SCICU priority programs. The Senate Finance Committee's budget recommendations puts programs for students at private non-profit colleges back in the budget game.

The Senate adopted the budget panel's recommendations on April 6. Differences between the Senate version and House version will go to a Conference Committee composed of three members from each chamber. Once the chambers agree on a budget, it will be sent to Governor McMaster for his consideration.

In the Conference Committee, the independent college interests will be for the Senate conferees to prevail with the Senate version of the higher education budget. We will be calling on our advocates for some assistance once the conferees are named.

SCICU Legislative Alerts and current Bills of Interest are posted and updated regularly on the SCICU website.


SCICU Students at SC State House for Independent College and University Day

Students Visit and Thank Legislators for Tuition Grants on Independent College and University Day (April 5)

COLUMBIA, SC --   Students from SCICU member colleges and universities converged on the South Carolina State House on Independent College and University Day (Wednesday, April 5, 2017, as jointly proclaimed by the SC General Assembly and Governor Henry McMaster) to thank their Representatives and Senators for funding and support of tuition grants. 

This advocacy event culminated a four-month letter-writing campaign in which nearly 4,000 tuition grant recipients attending SCICU member colleges and universities wrote more than 7,000 letters to South Carolina legislators in appreciation for their tuition grants.
Prior to visiting legislators at the State House, SCICU students gathered at Satterlee Hall of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral for a welcome and advocacy warmup with SCICU President and CEO Mike LeFever. During the warmup, LeFever presented a 2017 SCICU Legislative Champion honor to Sen. John L. Scott, Jr. of Columbia. Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg was presented with 2017 SCICU Legislative Champion honors later in the day outside the House chambers. Please click here to read more about Rep. Cobb-Hunter's and Sen. Scott's support of independent higher education in South Carolina.
Mr. Earl Mayo, Director of the South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission, also greeted students and thanked them for their tuition grants advocacy.
In the annual legislative letter writing competition, Anderson University, with 1,778 letters written, continued as the top letter-writing college/university. Anderson University also won the 2016 letter writing competition. Erskine College and Allen University were honored for having 100% of their respective tuition grant recipients write letters to members of the General Assembly.


Sen. John Scott and Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter Named 2017 SCICU Legislative Champions

COLUMBIA, SC --  South Carolina State Senator John L. Scott, Jr. of Columbia and State Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg have been selected as the 2017 SCICU Legislative Champions by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

Sen. Scott (L) is presented with the SCICU 2017 Legislative Champion Award by SCICU President Mike LeFever (R).

After serving 18 years in the South Carolina House of Representatives, Sen. John L. Scott, Jr. was elected to the State Senate in 2008. Throughout his distinguished legislative career, Sen. Scott has been a staunch supporter of education programs, infrastructure repair and rebuilding, and the welfare of state employees. He serves on the Senate Finance, Labor, Commerce and Industry, Medical Affairs, Rules, and Transportation Committees.
Sen. Scott is a graduate of C.A. Johnson High School and South Carolina State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with a minor in Economics He is also a graduate of the Diversity Leadership Academy at the Richard E. Riley Institute at Furman University.
His community and military service are exemplified by his participation and involvement in a wide array of community organizations, including the Voorhees College Board of Trustees, South Carolina Military Department Joint Service Detachment, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Rep. Cobb-Hunter (R) is presented with the SCICU 2017 Legislative Champion Award by SCICU President Mike LeFever (L).

Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter was the first African American woman in Orangeburg County ever elected to a state office when she was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1992. She became the first freshman ever appointed to and is now ranking member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. She is a member of the Joint Bond Review Committee.

A native of Gifford, Florida, Rep. Cobb-Hunter holds a B.S. degree in Afro-American History from Florida A&M University, an M.A. degree in American History from Florida State University, and is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from both the Medical University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston and the highly coveted David Wilkins Legislative Leadership Award from the Riley Institute at Furman University.

Rep. Cobb-Hunter has worked on the national, regional and state levels on a variety of progressive issues aimed at making communities a better place for working families to live. Her longstanding commitment to community service is reflected in her active participation on numerous boards and commissions, including vice president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

Both Rep. Cobb-Hunter and Sen. Scott have been champions of the Higher Education Tuition Grants program and the state's merit scholarship programs throughout their long legislative careers. They believe that providing financial aid to students trying to improve their lives through education is an investment in the future of South Carolina. They also have championed college access and success for low-income and educationally disadvantaged students through their unflinching support of the Higher Education Excellence Enhancement program.

The 2017 SCICU Legislative Champions were honored as part of Independent College and University Day on April 5 when students from South Carolina's private non-profit colleges and universities met at the State House to thank legislators for providing "Opportunities for Excellence" through student aid programs such as Tuition Grants, LIFE, HOPE, Palmetto Fellows, and Lottery Assistance.


Dr. Leroy Staggers

Morris College Trustees Name Interim President

SUMTER, SC  ( courtesy The Sumter Item ) - Morris College Board of Trustees has named Leroy Staggers, academic dean at the college, as interim president, effective July 1, as president Luns C. Richardson intends to retire on June 30.

Richardson, South Carolina's longest sitting college president and United Negro College Fund's longest member president, informed the board of trustees of his decision to retire as the president during a regular meeting on Oct. 29, 2016.

He will conclude his 43-year career with Morris College at 5 p.m. on June 30 according to a news release from the college.

Staggers, a Salters native and a graduate of C.E. Murray High School in Greelyville, earned an undergraduate degree from Voorhees College and earned both a master's and a doctorate degree from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.

According to a news release from the college, Staggers, who began working at Morris College in 1993, has dedicated nearly 24 years to the institution and has served 16 years as the academic dean.

Through his current position, Staggers is a prominent member of Richardson's cabinet and is responsible for the supervision of all academic programs, full-time and part-time faculty members as well as all academic support instructional programs. Staggers also works closely with Richardson on all aspects of Morris College's reaffirmation of accreditation efforts, including working hand in hand with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, states the release.

Prior to joining the Morris College family, Staggers served as vice president of academic affairs, associate professor of English and director of faculty development at Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina. Additionally, he has served as instructor of English and reading at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama, and chairman of the division of humanities and assistant professor of English at Voorhees College in Denmark.

Also, Staggers completed the Harvard University Institute for Education Management program, which addresses the stewardship role played by senior-level leaders at their respective institutions.

Staggers is a member of Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church in Sumter where he has served five years as chairman of the board of trustees of Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church Christian and Academic School.


Dr. Jairy C. Hunter, Jr.

CSU President Dr. Jairy Hunter To Transition to President Emeritus in 2018

CHARLESTON, SC (courtesy csuniv.edu) - The Board of Trustees announced on March 23 that Dr. Jairy C. Hunter, Jr. will transition from the President of Charleston Southern University to President Emeritus on May 31, 2018 after 34 years of service. Over the past two years, the Board of Trustees and President Hunter have collaborated and developed a Succession Plan to ensure that the University continues to thrive and operate smoothly. Beginning June 1, 2018, as President Emeritus, Dr. Hunter will provide consulting and assistance in key areas such as strategic planning, external relations, resource development, enrollment and financial affairs. Additionally, he will continue to teach in the graduate school School of Business.

Chairman of the Board, Dr. Jerry Williams, expressed appreciation to Dr. Hunter and First Lady, Sissy, for an exemplary job in leading the University for over three decades. "Dr. Hunter's visionary leadership, tireless dedication and unwavering commitment to Christian higher education literally has transformed CSU into one of the best Christian Universities in the country," declared Dr. Williams.

"I am gratified that during my tenure thousands of students have received an excellent education in a Christian environment," stated Dr. Hunter.
The Board will begin a search process for the next president in February 2018. Dr. Michael Bryant, Executive Vice President, will assist President Hunter during this transition period. Inquiries may be forwarded to Presidentsearch@csuniv.edu.

For more information, please visit the CSU website.



SCICU curates news from its twenty member colleges and universities.  Click here to read college news on the SCICU website.

The following is a sampling of recent member college news:


The Business Partners program provides a convenient marketplace in which SCICU member colleges and universities can preview offerings tailored to the needs of the higher education community in South Carolina.

SCICU welcomes the following new Business Partner:

SCICU recognizes the following Business Partners for their renewals:

Directory - Click  here  for a complete list of Business Partners, or access information on individual Business Partners via the links shown below.

ABM Building Solutions, LLC  | Acumen IT, LLC | Affinity LTC, LLC (Genworth Financial) American Student Assistance Aramark Higher Education | Blackboard Inc.  | Cantey Tech Consulting CapinCrouse LLP | Church Mutual Insurance Company | Coleman Lew + Associates | Collegiate Financial Services Craig Gaulden Davis | CSI Leasing, Inc. e-Procurement Services, LLC | e2Campus |   eBridge Business Solutions LLC | eDocHome.com | Elliott Davis Decosimo | ETC Consulting, LLC Find Great People, LLC | First American Education Finance | Gillis Specialty Adverstising | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA | Howard Techonology Solutions HRP Associates, Inc.  | Hypersign, LLC INSITE |   McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture | Metadata IT LLC Metz Culinary Management | Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting | National Mangement Resources CorporationPioneer College Caterers Pollock Company | Professional Insurance & Investment Associates | Purple Briefcase | S2K | SC Student Loan Corporation | ScholarBuys | Sodexo | Spirit Communications | Stalwart Systems Group | STEM Premier | The Payments Company Total Comfort Solutions | UnitedHealthcare Student Resources | Verizon | Vulcan Materials Company | Walsh Consulting Group LLC | Winthrop Resources IT Leasing | Wyche, PA

SCICU is a member of the Coalition for College Cost Savings (CCCS). This organization, comprised of 33 member organizations in 30 states, serves more than 900 higher education institutions and over 3 million students across the United States. The organization and staff are dedicated to helping private higher education institutions improve processes and reduce costs through collaboration.

All SCICU member colleges and universities have access to CCCS's national contracts and services. More information on this important benefit may be found here.

News & Notes is published by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc.  Please send all comments or questions to SCICU President & CEO Mike LeFever at mike@scicu.org or 803-799-7122.  Mailing address: PO Box 12007, Columbia, SC 29211.